Twenty-three-year-old O/B/A is a Pop/Hip-Hop recording artist who is no stranger to music, coming from a family of musicians. He started writing songs and performing at a young age. At nine years old he recorded his first song in his brother’s bedroom in their apartment in Harlem, New York. “We put up blankets on the walls and turned it into our little recording studio,” O/B/A says.
Now from the Apollo Theater in Harlem, corporate performances to House of Blues show, the adult O/B/A entertains all.
“I was lucky in high school to make some connections and learn from people who were working at the highest level. I spent my high school years in LA, and it was there that I began working with producers at the highest level. That lead to me working with musicians such as Jojo, Rihanna, Queen Latifah, Brandy and others as their Engineer or Programmer for live shows.”
While O/B/A currently resides in Los Angeles and is making significant moves in the industry, he has a remarkable connection to Chicago with his family, and he is great friends with hometown basketball player Jabari Parker.
O/B/A will be releasing a brand-new single this month called “Hustlin,’” which he wrote himself and was produced by Riley Urick. This song is a tribute to Jabari Parker’s comeback from his gruesome knee injury and his return to his hometown of Chicago.
“I love Jabari’s story because I relate to it on so many levels. He’s achieved something that millions of people dream of and me I’m in the process of achieving my dream and sharing my music with the world. Some people might think my values and beliefs hold me back from achieving what I want to achieve, and many people might feel the same way about Jabari, but the truth is, it’s made us stronger and strengthened us in our journey to achieve our goals,” states O/B/A.
O/B/A met Jabari in 2016 at a Utah gym where they both were hanging out, merely playing basketball. When he first met Jabari, he described that he was on the basketball court in the gym and Jabari (of course) was very much focused on basketball. “I met Jabari at the gym through my brother Yahosh who had known Christian, Jabari’s brother/manager, for years. We played ball that day, and that man flew. He didn’t say much and didn’t have to because his skills on the court said it all.”
Parker says that the collaboration came naturally and that they both had a friendship bond before any source of fame. They both played ball together, and from there on its just second nature. “We have somebody who can play a little bit of basketball, and on the other side, we have a very talented artist. So I felt like I need my vision and I need a part of my attitude to be public, and I want many of my fans to feel through music what I’ve been experiencing so far in my career. So, you know thanks to O/B/A for doing that for me.”
From that day on the court their friendship developed in many ways as they stayed in touch with each other regardless of their schedules.
On July 9, 2014, Parker signed with the Bucks and joined them for the 2014 NBA Summer League. His peers named Parker as both the most likely to be Rookie of the Year and the most likely to have the best NBA career until the critical day on December 15, 2014; Parker suffered a season-ending injury by tearing his ACL against the Phoenix Suns.
According to NBC sports online, Parker’s injury extended into the beginning of the 2015–16 NBA season. He returned to action in November against the Philadelphia 76ers as he ramped up his activity. Nonetheless, after five games, he endured a sprain in his talonavicular joint in the right mid-foot causing him to be expected to miss several games. On February 9, 2017, Parker was ruled out for the rest of the 2016–17 season after an MRI revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. On July 14, 2018, Parker signed a two-year, $40 million contract with the Chicago Bulls.
When Jabari was injured, O/B/A felt very sad for him knowing that he had to suffer an injury and on top of that he was so young. “I don’t remember exactly what I did at the moment when that happened, but I can only imagine saying a prayer and hoping he had a quick recovery.”
O/B/A visited Chicago on Monday, October 1, to represent his family, [The Bonner Family] to advocate for Haitian children who are trying to find homes in America, in the wake of devastation in Haiti. These are children who have been rescued from all types of tragi events, and they are waiting to be reunited with their new families here in the U.S. But their families in the U.S. don’t have the necessary funds to bring them to this country. That’s where Children Need Families (CNF) comes in. They cover the costs for that family.
Jabari is playing in the preseason and getting ready for the season opener [Chicago Bulls vs. 76ers: Away] on October 18 at 7 pm CT on TNT.
O/B/A will be releasing his debut EP this year self-titled, “O/B/A” where he has also collaborated with some great writers and producers who’ve worked closely with Fifth Harmony, Timbaland, Jeremih, and others.
O/B/A just finished shooting some footage with Jabari Parker last week and he will be appearing in the official music video of “Hustlin” that was released Monday, October 15th.
Parker stated, “The song itself is uplifting, and that’s why I love it so much because it’s positive. It implements faith, and it’s just deep-rooted in belief. So that’s just what I’ve been through so far; I didn’t have a clear path. So, what are you left with? Just faith. You don’t have the experience to lay on. That’s why I love it so much that I’m here too because I have more motivation and I know that comes from a good place because I’m a hometown kid. People know me, and they’re not just going to throw me away. It feels good to be back and at home.”
You can preview his upcoming single “Hustlin’” on soundcloud.com and check out his website www.obasmusic.com. The video of “Hustlin” with Parker can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIzGcjRMuAg